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AWS Summit Public Sector 2018

194347 - Alexa Learns New Skills at Northeastern University

Session Description

Educational and government institutions are incorporating voice services powered by Amazon Alexa in order to increase student and employee engagement. Already transforming the home, Alexa is now improving learning and productivity at school and at work. And with Alexa for Business, schools and government agencies can now build and deploy unique private skills while provisioning, deploying, and managing Alexa devices at scale. By leveraging the power of Alexa and the management capabilities of Alexa for Business, n-Powered’s Voice First platform is revolutionizing student life at Northeastern University. n-Powered is connecting the University’s disparate systems of record and giving students the power to easily query the status of their financial aid package, hear the hours of the cafeteria, check their GPA, or learn what events are happening on campus each week, all by invoking the Husky Helper skill enabled on an Echo Dot in their dorm room. Northeastern professors can use Alexa to share information with students about upcoming classes and assignments and can even have Alexa act as a teaching assistant, offering students additional learning opportunities outside of the lecture hall. n-Powered is providing the students, faculty, and staff with a personalized experience and way to connect with their community, and Alexa for Business makes managing thousands of Echo devices at scale a simple and cost-effective way for Northeastern to increase engagement with their 15,000 students. This technical session will explore how n-Powered leveraged the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa for Business APIs to build a platform that offers students, faculty, and staff a voice experience tailored to their preferences. n-Powered will demonstrate how they designed their platform’s APIs to connect to common university systems of record to pull data into an AWS data lake at chosen, customizable intervals. These datasets are then normalized through n-Powered’s proprietary technology to enable Alexa Skills to surface information to students, faculty, and staff, whenever they query Alexa, all powered by Echo devices managed by Alexa for Business.


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